Ayotte: 'Immigration System Is Broken,' Backs Reform Bill

Brings key GOP support to Gang of Eight measure

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 9, 2013 1:56 PM CDT

(Newser) – Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte has announced her support for the Senate immigration reform bill, bringing the measure one vote closer to the 60-vote majority needed to avoid a filibuster. "Our immigration system is completely broken; we've got 11 million people living in this country illegally and in the shadows. We have a legal immigration system that isn't meeting our needs to grow the economy," Ayotte told Face the Nation, as per CBS. "And so I looked at this carefully, this is a thoughtful bipartisan solution to a tough problem and so that's why I'm going to support it."

With her support, Ayotte joins the four GOP senators who helped write the bill. Republican Orrin Hatch voted for the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee, but says he will only support it again if more amendments are made, reports the Washington Post. If Hatch gets on board, and all 54 members of the Democratic caucus support the measure, it will hit the magic 60. But that's a big "if"—so far, not every Democrat supports the bill, reports ABC News.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte talks on CBS's Face the Nation in Washington. Ayotte said she will back the bipartisan overhaul of the nation's immigration system, which she said is broken and needs to be fixed.   (AP Photo/NBC News, Chris Usher)
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